Exhibition to Unveil Theatre’s Behind-the-Scene Secrets in Unprecedented Scale

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Press Release sent by Cultural Connections on behalf of the HKATTS.

Exhibition to Unveil Theatre’s Behind-the-Scene Secrets in Unprecedented Scale
Rarely Seen Antique Stage Objects and Hologram Display of Stage Designs
Preview of Project in Participation of World Reputable Prague Quadrennial

Presented by the Hong Kong Association of Theatre Technicians and Scenographers (HKATTS), “Parallel Space: Hong Kong Theatre Design Exhibition 2013-2015” hopes to introduce theatre technical arts to the general audience. Every successful stage production indeed has a great crew working on sound, lighting, set and costume design behind the scene.

Never before in Hong Kong an exhibition on theatre design is organized in such large-scale. The exhibition explores, with stage models, texts and images, objects and tools, how theatre designers turn ideas into actual productions.

Rarely Seen Stage Objects

The exhibition shall include rarely seen old stage objects or lesser known stage tools. Old objects can be traced back to those used one or even two centuries ago, such as footlight shell, lime light, carbon arc, etc. which were used for lighting effects in the old days. Old theatre chairs from UK’s famous Glyndebourne opera house, before its renovation in the 1990s, will also be displayed. Other objects that are being phased out will also be shown, such as the open reel for creating sound effects before the computer era, and the old profile spot which is nicknamed “pig nose” in Hong Kong.

For tools that are still in use today in creating splendid effects on stage but seldom known to the general audience, the exhibition will display rigging systems for hanging sets, prompt books which is like the bible of the whole production, etc. A special machinery robot at Gaybird Leung’s “CouCou on MARS” for setting and collecting light posts will be on show as well.

Multimedia Display of Stage Designs

The exhibition will showcase the designs of over 1000 stage productions with multimedia display, covering drama, musical, opera, dance and Xiqu. A few dozens productions, carefully selected by the curators, such as “Art School Musical” by Edward Lam Dance Theatre, “The Wild Boar” starring Dayo Wong, “Heart of Coral” chronicling the life of legendary writer Xiao Hong, etc., will have their theatre designs made into hologram installations. Visitors can even use their own smartphones or tablets with the special equipment at the exhibition to have a multi-dimensional view of these well-known titles’ stage design.

Behind-the-Scene Stories

More than a dozen of local set / costume / lighting / sound designers and stage managers will share their behind-the-scene stories of working on two related shows at different times, to be illustrated with texts and even models, including Edward Lam’s “What is Success?”, “I Hate Therefore I Marry”, and “Design for Living”. Edward Lam will also share his first-hand story in working with stage designers.

The exhibition team has also interviewed veteran stage designers and artists, including Brian Tilbrook who, a painter himself, belongs to the first generation of set designers for the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. Interview with him, amongst others, will be screened at the exhibition.

Previewing Design in Participation of Prague Quadrennial

Like an Olympiad of the theatre design world, the Prague Quadrennial is organised every four years to showcase theatre designs from its member countries. The model of Hong Kong’s participating project will be displayed at this exhibition, so local audience will have chance to preview it before the project is actually constructed in Prague this June.

There will also be other exciting content at the exhibition, and two public talks on the very interesting topics of stage make-up and the use of blood on stage!

Designers of Well-known Productions Curating the Show

The exhibition is curated by Allan Tsui and Billy Chan, both experienced theatre workers. Chan has worked with EEG Music’s “Tonnochy” and Edward Lam Dance Theatre’s “What is Sex?” on their lighting design, among many other shows. Tsui, on the other hand, has worked on the set design for Sammy & Kitty Drama Shows, “Academy of Laughter” starring Jan Lamb and Eric Kot, plus many other popular productions. They seem to be in the best position to curate an exhibition that unfolds behind-the-scene secrets of theatrical productions with themselves being veterans in theatre design.

The exhibition is part three of “Hong Kong Theatre Design Exhibition 2013-2015”, organised by the HKATTS and funded by the Home Affairs Bureau’s Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme.

Press Tour

Date: 21/1/2015 (Wed)
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Pao Galleries, 4/F – 5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.
Content: Introduction of the 10 exhibition zones, demonstration of the use of blood on stage (members of the press can even try out themselves!)

(Interested press please register with PR contacts.)

Appendix One: Information on Exhibition and Talks

Parallel Space: Hong Kong Theatre Design Exhibition 2013-2015

Date: 21/1/2015 – 1/2/2015
Time: 10 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Pao Galleries, 4/F – 5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.
Enquiry: hkatts@hkatts.com.hk


The Bloody Stage
Date: 24/1/2015 (Sat)
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Pao Galleries, 4/F – 5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.
Speaker: Lau Hon Wah

The Mystery of Stage Make Up
Date: 31/1/2015 (Sat)
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Pao Galleries, 4/F – 5/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.
Speaker: Chan Ming Long

Registration: hkatts@hkatts.com.hk

Appendix Two: Poster and Photos Download

Leaflet of “Parallel Space” (Download high res image: http://goo.gl/P6w19o)

Photos of Stage Objects (Download high res image: http://goo.gl/P6w19o)

Profile spot nicknamed “pig nose”

Carbon arc
Carbon Arc_lowres

Lime light
Lime Light_lowres

Robot at Gaybird Leung’s “CouCou on MARS”

Appendix Three: About Curators and Organiser

Curator / Creative Director

Allan_lowresAllan Tsui graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (major in Design) and HKAPA (major in TV and Film and Theatre and Costume Design). He was the Art Director and guest lecture of HKAPA. Allan actively involved in theatre industry and designed over 100 stage performances. His works also selected to participate in Prague Quadrennial exhibition in Prague on 1999 & 2007. He is now freelance Exhibition Designer and Stage and Costume Designer.


billy's bio #2_lowresBilly Chan studied Theatre Lighting Design at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. His design works including Edward Lam Dance Theatre “Design for Living”, “L’empereur du Chant”, “I Hate Therefore I Marry”, “Arts School Musical” & “What is Sex?”; Hong Kong Ballet “Don Quixote”; Emperor Entertainment “Tonnochy”; Dionysus Contemporary Theatre “Equus”, Macau Cultural Centre “Sign High”.

Hong Kong Association of Theatre Technicians & Scenographers (HKATTS)

The Hong Kong Association of Theatre Technicians & Scenographers (HKATTS) was founded in 1989 by a group of enthusiastic theatre practitioners. It is a professional organisation, registered as a non-profit making company, whose aim is to:

(i) promote theatre technology and scenography in Hong Kong;
(ii) facilitate the communication within theatre industry and raise the standard of professionalism;
(iii) Serves as the communicative link between theatre professionals on Hong Kong and fosters cultural exchange with those in the international theatre community.

Since 1993, HKATTS officially became the Hong Kong Centre of “Organization Internationale des Scénographes, Techniciens et Artchitectes de Théâtre” (OISTAT) which is one of the 33 Centres around the world.